Finding the time to create effective online marketing strategies can be a real challenge. Many small businesses struggle not only to find the time, but to find staff with the appropriate skill set to get marketing channels really humming. You can always fork out cash to get results but this adds up very quickly!
Being in the digital age, having a website is one of the first steps small businesses should be taking when setting up. However, that’s not always the case as many still view websites as irrelevant. If we have one piece of advice, it is that looking sharp online and being available for all your potential clients and customers to find, is absolutely vital these days.
“If you are not online you risk losing a large chunk of your business to online savvy competitors.”
Keeping your business up to date in the digital age can seem complicated but by using a few key elements, along with a modern website, you will be well on your way to winning many more customers online.
3 key online marketing elements for small business:
1. Social Media
Social media is a great place to communicate with potential and existing customers and clients. By creating and implementing a social media strategy you will be able to effectively leverage off many social networks, the biggest and most important of those would have to be Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Each social network has its own individual style so jumping in the deep end and having a go can be the best way to master these highly important marketing tools. Just make sure you don’t jump in and then stop posting after the first few weeks.
The key things to keep in mind when using social media are:
1. Remember who your audience is: whatever you post, whether it be visual or text, it needs to be targeted at your audience.
2. Hold yourself to a high standard: fuzzy photos, grammar and spelling mistakes have no place on social media, they make you look bad! So ensure you use a high level of attention to detail when using social media.
3. Keep it relevant: photos of cute puppies are great if you are a vet or a dog groomer but they won’t offer you much more than a cute face if they have no connection to your business.
4. Keep it regular: Posting regularly (i.e. once a day) is a good idea to ensure consistency and a stronger brand voice.
We are always hearing about blogging. If your website doesn’t have a blog it’s time to get one! SEO can be a bit of a battle for small businesses, and an easy way to start boosting up the google rankings is to use your blog!
By posting on your website blog relatively frequently, you can show Google your website isn’t just stagnant. What does google do with this information? Boosts you up the google rankings!
There are many benefits to blogging, providing you with more content to share on social media, which can in turn lead to potential customers and clients heading straight back to your website. Sharing your blogs on social media can also open up communication with your clients, they will begin to ask you questions publicly for all to see or even contact you privately, getting you that much closer to converting that blog post into real money. So ensure when you post something to your blog the standard is high.
Tip: Some people don’t like the word “blog” don’t worry about that. You could name your blog page anything you like i.e. News, Reports, Updates, Advice.
3. Email Marketing/ Newsletters
Email marketing is a widely used tool by both large and small businesses, it’s simple to use, set up and if you’re just starting out you can use tools like MailChimp, completely free of charge.
Email marketing can be used to feed traffic directly to your website, your social media or wherever you might like people to go.
Using email marketing can keep your products, your services and your brand relevant with readers. It helps you to gain trust with people and if used correctly can be one of the cheapest and most successful forms of marketing available.
Tip: Mailchimp.com offers new customers free email marketing tools for up to 2000 subscribers.
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